Allan's mighty team goes well
IVAN Allan's powerful team underlined at yesterday's busy Sha Tin trackwork session just why they have been so widely tipped to deny John Moore his fourth successive trainer's title.
Allan, a former multiple champion trainer of Malaysia and Singapore, purchaser and owner of yearlings that have progressed to win Classic races in England, Australia and New Zealand, is one of the most widely respected men in the racing world.
For the season ahead, he has astutely gathered a string of potentially smart and/or well-handicapped horses, a number of whom worked most impressively yesterday morning.
None showed more dash than last season's winning private purchase griffin, Mighty Mighty, who has made outstanding physical progress during the summer break.
When the son of Try My Best stepped into the paddock for his debut last February, he was very much an unfurnished individual verging towards the scrawny side.
This time round, he is much bigger and stronger and is carrying far more muscle.
Given that he managed to win second time out last year when nowhere near his physical peak, it is hard not to conclude that there should be plenty of improvement on the course to match his development off it.
Yesterday, Allan sent him out alongside another griffin winner from last season, the speedy Turf Champ, as well as his unraced staying-bred Horse Delight.
Both could not match Mighty Mighty's acceleration as they came through their final quarter in 24.2 seconds. On this display, Mighty Mighty is a betting proposition from his rating in the middle of Class Three.
The former Patrick Biancone-trained Sun Crest scored a shock win down the straight 1,000-metre course at 178-1 on his debut for Allan at the back end of last season.
He appears to have continued to thrive since that short hop across Sha Tin and yesterday went noticeably better than Duet Danseurs in another really promising gallop.
Duet Danseurs is usually a very useful worker and, thus, is a good guide to form. But, yesterday, it was Sun Crest who held the edge up the straight, despite his rider's efforts to not let him run along too fast.
Others to note from the Allan stable were the speedy Pinch The Devil, who pulled clear of the stayer, In The Picture, and French import Gomile, who did not race last season after being asked to trial many times.
Those trials showed him up as likely to be more than able to hold his own over a distance in Class Two. His work with Natural Heritage yesterday added to those impressions.
Allan's Be Glorious has also started to look much more settled in his work.
Yesterday also saw work from the barriers at the top of the back straight for the first time.
One of the better pieces came from David Hill's Mountain Champ, who looks just the athletic type that will come to hand pretty early on in the season.